Soaps, Safety, and Side Effects


Sodium hydroxide is a well-liked ingredient in tons of skincare merchandise that may appear hella scary on account of its caustic nature. However whereas there’s def some danger, it’s typically secure should you spot sodium hydroxide in your fave cleanser.

Right here’s the news on why sodium hydroxide shouldn’t really burn your face off when utilized in skincare merchandise.

Sodium hydroxide (aka lye or caustic soda) is a stable white compound that absorbs water from the air. It’s alkaline AF with a pH of 14, which helps it steadiness the pH of skincare merchandise when utilized in teeny tiny quantities. (Psst: consider alkaline, aka primary, as the other of acidic).

It’s additionally the important thing ingredient in serving to fat and oils turn into one in soaps and cleansers. It’s additionally utilized in facial and physique care merchandise.

Sodium hydroxide’s primary properties additionally make it a stable addition to cleansing merchandise like oven cleaners, drain cleaners, detergents, paper, and aluminum.

Concentrated quantities of sodium hydroxide are extraordinarily caustic, which implies it’s corrosive and may trigger chemical burns to the pores and skin and eyes. It’s additionally very harmful if consumed or should you breathe in its fumes.

Actual discuss. This makes sodium hydroxide sound fairly darn scary. However when added to skincare merchandise, sodium hydroxide is utilized in low doses which can be typically fully used up within the response course of. So, the tough vibes are gone by the point a product touches your pores and skin.

P.S. Sodium hydroxide is usually acknowledged as secure as a meals ingredient by the FDA. However take be aware, that is largely for produce washes, not precise meals.

Sodium hydroxide can saponify oils. Which means it helps the oils and fat lather and foam right into a cleaning soap. With out it, your cleaning soap can be an enormous mess of varied oils and fat that aren’t unified into one product.

It’s additionally utilized in small quantities to ascertain and preserve the pH of a product. Pores and skin tends to be on the acidic aspect and often ranges between 4 and seven. Sustaining this acidity (aka the “acid mantle”) gives a layer of safety in opposition to environmental components like allergens, pollution, and micro organism. In case your skincare’s pH is out of its typical vary, you possibly can disrupt your pores and skin’s acidic safety, which may enhance your danger of untimely ageing too.

Within the magnificence world, you’ll largely discover sodium hydroxide in:

It’s best to NEVER put pure sodium hydroxide in your pores and skin. It will possibly trigger pores and skin signs like delicate to extreme chemical burns, or holes within the pores and skin and underlying tissues. Even concentrated quantities utilized in oven and drain cleaners can injury your pores and skin, so get these gloves on.

Merchandise that include or are made with sodium hydroxide may trigger:

  • rash
  • hives
  • itching
  • redness or discoloration
  • irritation
  • flaking pores and skin
  • elevated sensitivity

Utilizing skincare with small concentrations of sodium hydroxide is often WAY safer. However you should still should be cautious, particularly when you have delicate pores and skin.

Sodium hydroxide is an alkaline compound that’s used to steadiness pH and saponify fat and oils. You’ll discover it in numerous skincare merchandise like soaps, make-up, cleansers, and lotions.

In excessive concentrations, it’s very caustic and can burn your pores and skin. But it surely’s utilized in small quantities in skincare merchandise that are likely to get completely used up within the response course of. So, numerous it doesn’t really make it to the ultimate product.

Pure sodium hydroxide might be 10/10 harmful. If ingested, it might probably set off lung irritation, throat swelling, intense belly ache, extreme change in blood pH, and issue respiration. It will possibly additionally result in imaginative and prescient loss if it will get in your eyes.

P.S. At all times discuss with a dermatologist earlier than making any main modifications to your skincare routine. That is further essential when you have a situation like eczema, psoriasis, cystic zits, or rosacea.